Thursday, 27 May 2010

Powder Man by the absolutely fucking great Geoff Hattersley

"Fuck off!" he shouts.
"Get fucked!" I shout back.
It's how Jacko and I
say hello every day,
it keeps him happy
and amuses me too.
He's the powder man
who keeps the machines going,
it's a back-breaking job.
He prowls the factory
with a head full of films
like Full Metal Jacket,
punching things as he goes,
people if he's that way out.
In a U.S. Marine haircut
he'll say, "Outta the way, Buddy."
His neck's thicker
than some girls' waists.
"I'd shag any woman,"
he informs me,
"except for one."
He doesn't say
which one.


Geoff Hattersley " is a powerful and uncompromising poet " (Ian McMillan, Poetry Review), “stubbornly proletarian” (Darrell Hinchliffe, PN Review), “a welcome subversive” (Ray Hearne, Iron), “a laureate of the displaced” (Jim Burns, Prop), “authentically unpleasant” (James Keery, Poetry Review). “strange and savage and incomprehensible” (Tim Cumming, Billy Liar), “a more sophisticated writer than his anecdotal, start-anywhere manner may imply” (Sean O‚Brien, Sunday Times). “He doesn‚t get by on raw feeling alone, he has a certainty of touch that is often elegant” (Derrick Buttress, Bogg).”I can‚t think of many other contemporary poets who can represent the rhythms and tensions of our times as successfully as Geoff Hattersley” (Jim Burns, Scratch). “He has an holistic approach that goes well beyond the confines of the poetry sphere” (Steve Davies, Odyssey). “He tells it as it is and sometimes very wittily” (Anne Bowen, Poetry Wales). “He proves that the ingredients of our dull domestic lives can be made into provocative poetry” (Paul Donnelly, Odyssey), “characterised by a breezy wit and a robust faith in the vernacular” (Chris Greenhlagh, Times Literary Supplement), and there are “those who love it for its resolute straightforwardness and its refusal of the commonplace tricks of poets on the make” (Bill Hudson, The Penniless Press). “Hattersley presents himself almost seamlessly as a part of his working-class environment” (Ian Gregson, The North). “The bleakness, the irony, the disappointment, the turns and twists of Northern working class life could hardly be better conveyed” (Brian Merrikin Hill, Pennine Platform), although he “finds more surrealism in Barnsley than Barnsley itself would choose to recognise” (Roger Caldwell, Poetry Wales). His is “an accessible poetry of alienation” (Martin Stannard, The North), “punchy and to the point” (Terry Kelly, Shields Gazette), “cheeky, imaginative, cerebral, witty” (Douglas Dunn, Financial Times), “saucy” (Anthony Thwaite, Sunday Telegraph), “the real thing” (Tony Charles, Stride).

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